The Bee’s Dance

Updated: Jan 27

Article by Sivan Shadmon, "At" magazine, March 2012 The treatment according to Ilan Lev Method is based upon the movement of the joints and upon the belief in the capacity for self healing of the body, belief that guides the practitioner Dvora Franco. The result is similar to Tai Chi, but with contact between the bodies. When Dvora (Debby) Franco starts to treat the arms, the treatment suddenly turns into almost a shared dance. She leans the patient’s elbow on her palm and with the other hand she holds the patient’s hand. Then she turns the arm in an unusual manner, at a fast but delicate rhythm. The result slightly reminds Tai Chi exercises, but having contact between the bodies. ‘The surprise is part of it’, says Franco, whom has been a practitioner for several years according to the Ilan Lev method. ‘The treatment is more efficient when the patient’s body is relaxed, and the surprise due to the movement allows such relaxation. “If you do not know what to expect, there will be no resistance" she adds with his slight French accent. The surprise due to the movement turns into a sensation of shared dance. Probably the surprise is part of this interesting method’s charm, based upon the set in motion/movement of the joints and in the belief that the body has self –healing. Perhaps for this reason it has become the secret to face pain and injuries of the dancers in the Bat Sheva Dance Company. Due to the effective treatment given to Sharon Eyal -the Company’s choreographer- Ilan Lev, the developer of the method, has become the dancer’s permanent practitioner. Debi’s son, Gay Bachar, is Eyal’s spouse and her creative partner in Bat Sheva. But Debi discovered the method much earlier: in 1991 I suffered from a slipped disc and after surgery I was given a treatment’s session as a gift. I was so enthusiastic that I decided to take the course for instructors given by Ilan. I met the method just three years ago, and two years ago I concluded the course; currently I treat patients in my home in Barkan and next September I will move to Tel Aviv’. What was it that attracted you? ‘Mainly that the method saved my life. The method has given me a way to treat myself and I gain my back once again. I also enjoy meeting people and feel that I can help them’. The treatment takes place being fully dressed, on the same bed used with the Feldenkreis method; this is not pure coincidence because the method’s father, Ilan Lev, studied exhaustively the Feldenkreis method. In an interview, Ilan Lev tells that his method is a combination of Feldenkreis and of the energetic approach that he studied in Croacia. In addition to rotating the hands, the treatment also includes pushing and movement of individual body parts. The jolts are relatively instinctive and practitioner spends enough time at each position. Usually, it is pleasant and even addictive. In addition to the position on the back, there are three starting positions in which the patient is: prone, sitting and on his side. The treatment is overall or it is intended to relax a certain part of the body? ‘It is neither a massage nor a focused treatment. The method is based on the premise that the system knows to treat itself and it is only required to awake it. The treatment concentrates in the skeleton and in the relation among the diverse joints. Is built up by the disarticulation of movements and its components, and also includes discovering and elimination of sources of pain. The disarticulation also leads to connecting the activity among the different parts of the body and, by doing so, to ‘awake’ it enabling the body to face the problem’. So there is a relation between the shoulder and the leg … ‘Yes, indeed. The pain in the shoulder does not necessarily mean that that treatment shall be applied on the very same shoulder. It may be exercised through the leg, it's what we call 'sleeves' and address both body parts. There is a sleeve that goes from the left leg to the right hand, through the spine, and the second sleeve goes in the contrary direction. It is known that posture problems impact the entire body and may be expressed in a certain joint, and vice versa / the problem in a certain area may impact the posture. Lev’s method works on the relation between the joints, trusting that there is communication among them. Through the movement we introduce energy into the body. It is an external movement that intends to awake the internal movement’. Indeed, the soft pushes and firm foot during treatment create chain reactions that also are felt in the shoulder. Simultaneously, she asks the patient to move the neck and head (which are outside the ‘sleeves’) to the sides. When she lifts the knee, exerting pressure from there up, the spine and the back are glued to the bed with special strength. ‘It is not just making him/her move the leg’, says Debi. She has a soft spot for dancers Debi lives in Barkan. She was born in the Congo, the daughter of a French family, and at the age of 18, she immigrated to Israel. 'I was fascinated by Tel Aviv, so full of young people", she says. Later she volunteered at Kibbutz Ein Gev, and then moved to the State’s central area. She is approximately 60 years old, and is the mother of Guy, Shahaf and Daniel. Daniel is also in the field of dance, in the Israel Ballet. 'Dancers are crazy. They feel pain all over. This is what happens with art. Daniel, for example, has been dancing since the age of six. He was born with it and he wanted to dance from an early age, and to this day it is impossible to make him stop. They are unable to stop and they do not mind the pain’. ¿Do you treat Daniel? ‘I treated him, but not anymore. Probably it is difficult to treat someone so close to you”. Debi confirms that the sessions of her treatment are not longer than one hour, but the sessions of other practitioners can take one and a half hour. What I like about the method is that each session also means my own treatment. I can give four consecutive sessions without tiring, because when done properly it is easy and it also helps the practitioner', and she concludes each movement distending her hands and exhaling loudly. * Pun: Dvora, the practitioner’s name, in Hebrew means bee

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